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Objective

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of percutaneous paracentesis for fluid collection from the first gastric compartment of healthy llamas and to describe characteristics of that fluid.

Design

Prospective study.

Animals

10 healthy adult llamas.

Procedure

Physical examinations were performed prior to sample collection and for 14 days afterwards. A CBC was performed prior to sample collection and 5 days later. A 16-gauge, 7.5-cm stainless steel needle, positioned approximately 20 cm caudal to the costochondral junction of the last rib, was pointed in a dorsocraniomedial direction and pushed through the abdominal wall into the lumen of the first gastric compartment. Fluid was aspirated and analyzed immediately for color, odor, consistency, pH, methylene blue reduction (MBR) time, protozoa, and bacteria.

Results

Fluid samples were obtained from 9 of 10 llamas. Mean volume was 4.1 ml, mean pH was 6.67, and mean MBR time was 173 seconds. Odor was slightly acidic, color was light brown-green to light yellow-green, and consistency was moderate. Small protozoa with variable iodine staining and gram-negative bacteria were commonly detected. With few exceptions, results of physical examinations and CBC remained within reference ranges.

Clinical Implications

Fluid samples from the first gastric compartment can be successfully obtained by percutaneous paracentesis. Fluid characteristics were similar to those of fluid collected via orogastric tube in llamas and cattle. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:812–815).

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To determine a dose of medetomidine that will induce sedation in llamas, to assess effects of medetomidine sedation on arterial blood gas variables, and to determine efficacy of atipamezole in reversing medetomidine-induced sedation.

Design

Prospective, randomized clinical trial.

Animals

15 clinically normal adult llamas.

Procedure

9 llamas received various doses of medetomidine (0.01, 0.02, or 0.03 mg/kg [0.005, 0.009, or 0.014 mg/lb] of body weight, IM). Heart and respiratory rates and sedative effects were recorded. Using the lowest dose that induced deep sedation, 6 different llamas were used to assess effects of medetomidine on arterial blood gas variables. These same 6 llamas were later given atipamezole (0.125 mg/kg [0.057 mg/lb], IV) 30 minutes after medetomidine injection. Heart and respiratory rates, sedative effects, and time from atipamezole injection to standing were recorded.

Results

Sedation began 6.67 ± 1.15 minutes (mean ± SD) after medetomidine administration (0.03 mg/kg, IM). Arterial blood gas variables measured 30 and 60 minutes after injection were not different from baseline. Llamas that did not receive atipamezole remained recumbent for 91.50 ± 24.68 minutes. After atipamezole administration, llamas were able to stand in 5.80 ± 3.27 minutes.

Clinical Implications

Medetomidine induced light to deep sedation in a dose-dependent manner in clinically normal llamas. A dose of 0.03 mg/kg induced deep sedation with a short period of analgesia. Atipamezole rapidly reversed effects of medetomidine, and llamas recovered quickly and were soon able to stand. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:1562–1565)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Cerebrospinal fluid and serum were obtained from 17 adult, healthy llamas (9 males, 1 castrated male, and 7 females). Osmolality; activities of lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase; and concentrations of glucose, sodium, chloride, potassium, total protein, and albumin were determined in serum and CSF. Total and differential cell counts were determined in CSF, and electrophoresis of CSF proteins was performed.

Total nucleated cell count was low, 0 to 3/μl, which is lower than that reported for other domestic species and is similar to values in healthy people. Differential leukocyte percentages were disparate depending on the degree of blood contamination. Blood contamination influenced the percentage of neutrophils and eosinophils in CSF. Samples with few erythrocytes had differential leukocyte distribution similar to that of other species: mostly lymphocytes, fewer monocytoid cells, and scant neutrophils. Older llamas had a few eosinophils in the CSF.

Total protein, albumin, and γ-globulin concentrations in llamas were similar to values in cattle and were higher than values in most domestic species. Glucose concentration in CSF was approximately 40% of the value in serum (nonruminant animals and peoply typically have CSF glucose concentration that is approximately 60 to 80% of the serum glucose concentration). Sodium and Cl concentrations in CSF were higher than those in serum, whereas K concentration was lower in CSF, compared with serum. Activities of creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase in CSF were markedly lower than those in serum, and the ranges of values in this group of healthy llamas were narrow.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To establish reference range values for synovial fluid from clinically normal New World camelids.

Animals—15 llamas and 15 alpacas.

Procedure—Llamas and alpacas were anesthetized with an IM injection of a xylazine hydrochloride, butorphanol tartrate, and ketamine hydrochloride combination. Synovial fluid (1 to 2 ml) was obtained by aseptic arthrocentesis from the radiocarpal and tarsocrural joints. Synovial fluid evaluation included determination of total nucleated cell count (NCC), absolute number and percentage of polymorphonuclear (PMN) and mononuclear leukocytes, total protein, and specific gravity.

Results—Synovial fluid evaluation revealed a total NCC of 100 to 1,400 cells/μl (mean ± SD, 394.8 ± 356.2 cells/μl; 95% confidence interval [CI], 295.2 to 494.6 cells/μl). Mononuclear leukocytes were the predominant cell type with lymphocytes, composing 50 to 90% (mean, 75.6 ± 17.2%; 95% CI, 70.8 to 80.4%) of the mononuclear leukocytes. Approximately 0 to 12% (mean, 1.3 ± 2.9%; 95% CI, 0.49 to 2.11%) of the cells were PMN leukocytes. Total protein concentrations ranged from 2.0 to 3.8 g/dl (mean, 2.54 ± 0.29 g/dl; 95% CI, 2.46 to 2.62 g/dl); the specific gravity ranged between 1.010 and 1.026 (mean, 1.017 ± 0.003; 95% CI, 1.016 to 1.018).

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—In llamas and alpacas, significant differences do not exist between species or between limbs (left vs right) or joints (radiocarpal vs tarsocrural) for synovial fluid values. Total NCC and absolute number and percentage of PMN and mononuclear leukocyte are similar to those of other ruminants and horses. However, synovial fluid total protein concentrations in New World camelids are high, compared with other domestic species. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:576–578)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effect of experimental infection with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) on llamas and their fetuses, evaluate seroprevalence of BVDV in llamas and alpacas, and genetically characterize BVDV isolates from llamas.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—4 pregnant llamas for the experimental infection study and 223 llamas and alpacas for the seroprevalence study.

Procedure—Llamas (seronegative to BVDV) were experimentally infected with a llama isolate of BVDV via nasal aerosolization. After inoculation, blood samples were collected every other day for 2 weeks; blood samples were obtained from crias at birth and monthly thereafter. For the seroprevalence study, blood was collected from a convenience sample of 223 camelids. Isolates of BVDV were characterized by reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction assay.

Results—Viremia and BVDV-specific antibody response were detected in the experimentally infected llamas, but no signs of disease were observed. No virus was detected in the crias or aborted fetus, although antibodies were evident in crias after colostrum consumption. Seroprevalence to BVDV was 0.9% in llamas and alpacas. Sequences of the llama BVDV isolates were comparable to known bovine isolates.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings suggest that llamas may be infected with BVDV but have few or no clinical signs. Inoculation of llamas during gestation did not result in fetal infection or persistent BVDV infection of crias. Seroprevalence to BVDV in llamas and alpacas is apparently low. The most likely source for BVDV infection in camelids may be cattle. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:223–228)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

To describe 3 laparoscopic approaches for, and the normal laparoscopic anatomy of, the abdomen in adult llamas and to evaluate the effects of laparoscopy in those llamas.

Design

Prospective clinical trial.

Animals

Six adult castrated male llamas.

Procedure

After induction of general anesthesia, 3 surgical approaches to the abdomen were performed: left paralumbar, ventral midline, and right paralumbar. The abdomen was systematically examined, and anatomic features described. After recovery from anesthesia, all llamas were examined daily for 10 days and CBC was repeated 24, 72, and 120 hours after laparoscopy.

Results

Laparoscopy was successfully performed in all llamas by use of the ventral midline and right paralumbar approaches. The laparoscope was inadvertently placed into the left retroperitoneal space in 1 of the 6 llamas when the left paralumbar approach was used. Also, hemorrhage into the abdomen limited the view from the left side in another llama. Various approaches allowed viewing of the first and third forestomach compartments, liver, spleen, kidneys, small intestine, ileum, proximal loop of the ascending colon, spiral colon, and urinary bladder. Postoperative findings included subcutaneous emphysema and edema. Mean WBC count peaked 24 hours after surgery (mean, 23,500 cells/μl). Generally, neutrophil count increased and lymphocyte count decreased during the 120 hours after surgery.

Clinical Implications

Laparoscopy may be used for differentiation of medical and surgical lesions in the abdomen of llamas. The site for laparoscopy should be chosen on the basis of the most likely site of the suspected lesion.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association